Good News from Olympia: Proposed House Budget Protects Oral Health - Oral Health Watch

The proposed House supplemental budget protects many essential programs that provide dental coverage to vulnerable populations. Thanks in part to the efforts of Citizens’ Watch coalition and grassroots support statewide, there is a growing awareness that oral health is a critical part of overall health.

The House budget released today in Olympia maintains funding for dental coverage provided to low-income pregnant women, seniors in nursing homes and people with developmental disabilities. This coverage was eliminated in the Governor’s proposed supplemental budget.

In addition, the House budget maintains funding for the Volunteer/Retired Provider Program that provides malpractice insurance for thousand of dentists, hygienists and other healthcare workers who volunteer their services. It also protects funding for other programs that benefit the oral health of low-income people including funding for Community Health Centers and the Basic Health Plan (see table below).

The Senate budget will be out soon, and hopefully it also will protect the oral health for vulnerable people by funding dental coverage.

Please continue to spread the word that dental disease prevention is a smart investment because it saves money and improves health.  We appreciate your support.

Proposed House Supplemental Budget

Oral health program

Status – 2012 session

Current proposal underlined

Medicaid dental coverage for pregnant women, people in long-term care and with developmental disabilities (DECOD program) Governor’s budget: Eliminates coverageHouse budget: Protected
Community Health Centers, including retention of the Basic Health Plan Governor’s budget: Eliminates basic healthHouse:  Protected
Volunteer/Retired Provider (VRP) Program Governor’s budget:  Eliminates VRP programHouse: Protected
Interpreter services Governor’s budget: Eliminates interpreter servicesHouse: Protected
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Oral Health Watch does not provide dental care and cannot provide direct referrals. To find dental care in your area, please visit our resources page. Please contact Oral Health Watch for more information about our programs and oral health in Washington State